The latest meeting of the Madang Chamber of Commerce has thrown up more questions than answers about the government's controversial Pacific Marine Industrial Zone, as this report by Nancy Sullivan reveals:
Stotick Kamya [President of the Chamber of Commerce and ex RD manager] gave us a cheerful progress report on the PMIZ and its scope of work. Included in it was an admission that money had run out last year for both the environmental and social impact assessments, which have still been left unpaid, and that all the settlers within the fenced area have been paid off but they are now asking for more (the tone implying how greedy they must be).
Some kerfuffle ensued when he suggested by misstatement that ALL Rempi people were settlers, which got the hairs up on one CoC members back (who also queried the rumour that the PMIZ is to have private access banning landowners to waters offshore to 500 metres out from Rempi to Alexishafen - Stotick was unsure).
The wisdom of the project couldn’t be clearer when the President asked for clarification, in front of the regional PNG Power boss, of how the project’s projected 16 kw load will be served by Madang’s power production when we are short 3 kw at present and only producing 5 mw when we require 8 mw. Our load is supposed to be 13, we were reminded - that is, for years CoC meetings have discussed the town’s unmet needs at 13 kw).
Mr. Regional PNG Power offered us an excellent imitation of civil service double speak as he explained that the Ramu load would be soon ramped up to some crazy figure like 95 mw from the current 65 for the entire Mamose region, even if the lines from the Yonki dam are still precarious (and it only takes one downed pylon to blackout Madang)... without answering anyone’s questions.
Then the presentation went on to include a discussion of the Gold Coast of PNG, a spectacular new development planned for up the north coast road, clearly piggybacking the town joy of a Pacific Marine Industrial Zone, sponsored by Coral Seas and other private entities (land clearing has already begin!) - where we can expect luxury villas, swimming pools, golf courses, malls, maybe even a Movie World and a ferris wheel modelled after the QLD version (whoopee!) - and yet STILL no answers as to whether our gracious three bedroom condo over the 9th hole will need gen sets and candles after all.
It would seem that evicting landowners from these marvellous new retirement and industrial zones has not been a problem...